How to remain healthy and live a healthy lifestyle is a subject of many a study and research. As a matter of debate, there is no dearth of arguments and suggestions on how to maintain perfect health. However one common factor across all opinion is diet. But have you ever wondered that despite of your best endeavors to maintain a diet, it just doesn’t happen like it should and you continue gaining weight.
You could think and research all you want because there a possibility that one big factor is lacking in your lifestyle. That is adequate sleep. The important benefits of sleep are vast and conducive to your health because lack of sleep actually makes you eat more and gain weight.
1 Sleep influences dieting
A healthy sleeping pattern or less sleep both control the way you eat. Despite of common suggestions advocating less consumption of food and more exercise, that isn’t entirely true as you need to eat sufficiently and starving or eating less isn’t really a solution. As per data compiled by the center for disease control and prevention CDC, the percentage of obesity and sleep deprived people is exactly the same. There is a definite association between less sleep and weight gain.
The big question is how much sleep constitutes a healthy dose of sleep. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine mention that adults need a minimum of seven hours sleep where less than that can actually contribute to illness and weight gain.
2 Sleep Deprivation Reduces Immunity and Increases Fat Storage
The study found that those who slept less, were hungry most of the time and displayed symptoms of lethargy without any energy or will for physical activity and exercise. In vast comparison, those who had a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep, showed significant weight loss because a good night’s sleep results in fat burn. The fat burning activity in those who slept less was reduced by 50%.
A bad night’s sleep can result in a number of symptoms linked to behavior such as confusion, anger, frustration, grumpiness, low immunity, illness, inability to focus and lack of concentration. A study at Chicago University proved that such symptoms were enhanced in those who were sleep deprived for four days. Some may feel that coffee can help one stay awake when sleep deprived but it isn’t the case with the hormones in your body whose faculties aren’t linked to the wakefulness of coffee. Those are being deprived of healthy regenerative sleep thus causing them to malfunction.
3 Insulin Levels Are Impacted By the Amount of Sleep
Sleep deprivation can even lead to disruption of insulin levels and reduce your body’s sensitivity to insulin by 30%. That’s how dangerous lack of sleep is. The important benefits of sleep leads to a healthy insulin function which leads to fat burn and prevents fat storage, thus improving your lipid profile. Insulin resistance leads to accumulation of lipids and fat in the blood stream resulting in cholesterol, plaque and weight gain. You are liable to suffer from diseases such as fatty liver and diabetes.
Contrary to popular belief, hunger isn’t regulated by your will power, but by two hormones called Leptin and Ghrelin that control hunger and play a major role in metabolism of fat in the body. Lack of sleep plays havoc by reducing Leptin and increasing Ghrelin where adequate sleep impacts just the opposite for weight loss and reduction of fat.
4 Sleep Deprivation Keeps You Feeling Grumpy!
Lack of sleep causes hypertension and stress by increasing a hormone called cortisol that elevates stress level in the body. Cortisol also makes you feel hungry too. Imagine the combined effect of high cortisol and ghrelin perennially keeping you hungry which is a killer combo for fat gain.
Moreover, sleeping less makes you want to eat all those fatty foods that make you gain weight. This was proved by another published study that appeared in the Nature Communications journal, which showed that it requires a single night of sleep loss to affect your frontal lobe which influences correct decisions. It’s almost like a hangover or even being intoxicated which impairs your ability to make the right decisions.
5 It’s Your Decision, whether to Sleep to Remain Healthy or Not!
The important benefits of sleep are innumerous but so are the negative effects of sleep deprivation which makes you crave for foods bad for you and you just don’t have the will power to say no. If that wasn’t all, sleep deprivation over a longer period of time can seriously impact your health by reducing your body’s ability to produce muscle and that’s when it is going to get really dangerous for you. But by far, the biggest benefit of sleep is to reduce the effects of ageing and sleep is one of the best remedies of anti-aging.
It’s really up to you to take your life into your own hands when it comes to sleep. Healthy living demands at least seven to nine hours of restful sleep a day and though you may lose out on one night, it should never be followed by a consecutive night of sleep loss as well. Sleep helps you make all the right decisions for a successful and healthy life.